...DCA For GA Debate Reopens
Against the backdrop of all this discussion about security, the FAA hinted that Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) might be reopened to GA flights. According to the Associated Press, an unnamed FAA official told the hearings that the agency and the TSA are working on a general aviation plan for DCA but the plans are being kept confidential. D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said Congress should be in the loop on those discussions and suggested the plan be shared with the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Aviation Subcommittee, told the hearing that he was "seeking, once again, a sound security explanation for the closure of DCA to most general aviation flights." Mica said there's no reason a reasonable security plan can't be adopted to allow GA access and protect the capital. "I believe that with proper procedures, training communication and coordination we can outsmart the terrorists and restore jobs, economic activity and general aviation," he said. Meanwhile, a writer to AVweb said he would have been happy to see GA accommodated in Pennsylvania last Friday. A presidential TFR around Allentown effectively closed the state to transient GA traffic, he said, and he was forced to go around to get his passenger to Atlantic City. "If they want to close airspace, then they should make plans with ATC to provide routes around it," he wrote.